The final decision of the Supreme Council in February 2017, ended the litigation involving the conviction of four doctors (imprisonment from 10-18 months) and compensation to the parents of a 18-year, to her three brothers, her grandfather and grandmother.
The ten years’ claim for medical mistake by a state hospital in the Macedonia region, which included legal and technical documentation signifies the high demands of the process towards First Instance Court, Appeals Court and Council of State. At the same time, it restores the hopes of justice and defines high amounts of compensation for medical negligence even from the Greek State.
In this case, doctors diagnosed "febrile gastroenteritis" but eventually the young girl died of "universal peritonitis"
The details of the case involve the following: In May 2006, a 18 year old student was admitted to the emergency department of the hospital with 30°C, vomiting, abdominal pains, diarrhea, etc.
The specialist physician and the specialist surgeon (both Registrars), while officially on duty, were unjustifiably absent that day.
The first resident physician who examined the possible appendicitis diagnosed and referred her to another colleague, also resident, who after seeing the laboratory tests, diagnosed a gastroenteritis, without assessing the increased number of white blood cells which indicates inflammation. Several physicians concluded that the 18-year-old suffered from "febrile gastroenteritis" and advised to stay in bed for 24 hours and was instructed to treat the diarrhea.
Four days later the student returned to the hospital early in the morning due to the continuous vomiting and epigastric pain (pain in the abdomen). The diagnosis was "acute febrile gastroenteritis." It was again diagnosed that there was no need to be hospitalized and the doctors advised to stay 'home for three days. " But the situation worsened. In the afternoon of the same day the 18-year-old, accompanied by a private doctor, went back to the hospital in shock. As described in the diagnosis, she came "in septic shock mode (shock) with unspecified blood pressure without peripheral beats, threadlike pulse, rapid breathing, hypostatic spots in the legs and difficulty in speaking."
She underwent abdominal ultrasound and CT scan which showed fluid "in the peritoneal cavity, pleural fluid in both mediastinal and limited quantity at pericardial."
She was urgently admitted to the operating room. There it found "abundant purulent fluid occupying the entire abdominal cavity from bulkheads until Douglas space (Ed .: the belly area low into the pelvis), while covering all the viscera and was anchored in the region of the appendix." The 18-year-old at the time of surgery presented two episodes of cardiac arrest, which were reversed. A few hours after surgery, the unfortunate girl died from "universal peritonitis." At autopsy listed "universal peritonitis' findings, and noted that" the death was due to septic shock. "
The 139-page Sworn Administrative Inquiry (EDE) defines improper performance of duties and responsibilities for the deaths of the girl in 7 hospital doctors, including the hospital manager (eventually four doctors were sentenced). Indeed, the SAI stressed that the patient has not had proper treatment and the condition developed into septic shock. Thus, "a condition that has a very low mortality (acute appendicitis has mortality of 0.1%) developed into peritonitis (mortality 10%) and later in disease with very high mortality (septic shock presents mortality 50%)."
That said, the judges concluded that serious negligence and omissions, regardless of the allocation of responsibilities among doctors constitute a medical error.
Source: Proto Thema